The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

May 22, 2012

Powell wins MWGA title

— After being tantalizingly close several times, Stephany Powell finally hoisted a Missouri Women’s Golf Association amateur championship trophy.

Powell, from Springfield, made her first-ever MWGA Senior Amateur appearance unforgettable by posting a two-shot victory on Tuesday at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club.

“I was like OK, I don’t want to start my senior life here the same way as my whole other life,” Powell said. “It’s an honor to win it. I’ve been trying forever to win a state amateur. It was my turn.”

Powell held a three-shot lead after an opening-round 75, and she closed with a 77 for an 8-over-par 152 total and a two-shot victory over Harriette Myers of New Madrid, whose 2-over 74 was Tuesday’s best round.

Ginny Orthwein finished third with 155 after a closing 76, and Mary Ann Beattie of St. Louis and Patty Robinson of Poplar Bluff tied for fourth at 158. Beattie had a final-round 80, one shot better than Robinson.

Champions were also crowned in four open flights — Melanie Trimmer of Chesterfield in Flight 1 with 172, Pat Scherer of Springfield in Flight 2 with 174, Cindy Schroeder of Marshall in Flight 3 with 175 and Julia McEwen of St. Charles in Flight 4 with 188.

Schroeder, a 20 handicapper, also won the low net award with 135.

Powell finished second four times in the women’s state amateur, most recently in 1993 at Briarbrook Golf Course. Before that, she took second twice in the junior state amateur.

“The one that really got me was the last junior I played in, to lose by one shot on the last hole,” Powell said. “Barbara Berkmeyer (who missed this year’s seniors event because of a pulled hamstring) beat me in two of my finals in the 1980s. I remember every one of them.”

But this time, Powell didn’t relinquish the lead, and her final round was highlighted by a monster putt — estimated at 80 feet — on the par-4 13th hole..

Once the title was secure, Powell received a text from her brother, Steve Jackson, in Springfield.

“He’s my best friend, and he sent me a text that said I’m so proud of you and Granddad would be real proud,” an emotional Powell said. “My grandfather (the late Bob Harrison) started me playing when I was 5.

“I want to thank the MWGA for everything they do and everybody here at Twin Hills. And to win on the anniversary of the tornado, it takes your breath away.”

Myers had better luck with the putter during her final-round 74.

“Six putts (on Monday) went in the hole and came out,” she said. “If half of those had fallen, I would have been OK.

“I started out slow today. I doubled the first hole we played (No. 2) and played even par from there, so I was pleased. And I made some putts today. Normally I don’t hit a lot of greens but I chip well. Today I hit a couple of pretty good flop shots to a tight pin, and I hit a lot of greens.

At age 60, Myers doesn’t have any ill feelings about some 50-year-old coming in and winning the Senior Amateur on her first attempt.

“Not one bit,” Myers said with a laugh. “Stephany is a great player. I played with her (Monday) and she hit the ball real well. She is a great champion. She’s a great example for this organization.”

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